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Raising Emotionally Intelligent Children

Raising Emotionally Intelligent Children

As a baby, your child cried when upset and laughed when amused, so the world was very simple. As your baby grows into a fully functioning child who interacts far more with the world around them, the emotional landscape becomes more tricky to navigate — for both your child and you.

To help ease this transition and lay the groundwork for healthy emotional intelligence in your child, the team here at Southlake Counseling offers emotion coaching. Through this type of coaching, Kimberly Krueger, MSW, LCSW and our team of licensed counselors supply children and parents with the tools they need to foster healthy relationships, confidence, and emotional awareness.

Defining emotional intelligence

People tend to refer to emotional intelligence quite a bit with the assumption that we all know what it means. We feel it’s important to take a step back and give more meaning to the concept.

In the most basic of terms, emotional intelligence refers to a person’s ability to perceive, assess, and act on their emotions. While this applies to how a person controls their own emotions, an equally important aspect of emotional intelligence is how that same person receives, interprets, and responds to the emotions of those around them.

Emotion coaching for children

As your child transitions from a fully reliant baby to a small walking, talking, and thinking person, their ability to communicate their likes and dislikes is put to the test, along with your ability to interpret them. This period can be extremely frustrating for both children and parents, which is why we feel that emotion coaching can help ease the way forward for healthier interactions.

At our practice, we rely on a highly effective method called, “Emotion Coaching: The Heart of Parenting.” This approach to managing your child’s emotions involves five steps:

  1. Creating awareness of your child’s emotions
  2. Recognizing your child's expression of emotion as a teaching and bonding opportunity
  3. Empathetic listening and validation of your child’s needs
  4. Helping your child learn to identify their emotions through speech
  5. Setting limits and helping your child navigate difficult situations

Putting these five steps together, our goal through emotion coaching is to help parents raise children who excel socially, emotionally, and intellectually.

Who can benefit from emotion coaching

While we feel that emotion coaching is a great idea for all kids and parents, many clients come to us with children who are acting out and throwing temper tantrums. These occasional lapses in impulse control are perfectly natural when your child is three or four years old, but if the problem persists and your child is struggling at school, it may be time for emotion coaching.

Until now, we’ve been concentrating on toddlers who are becoming independent children, but emotion coaching can play an invaluable role for adolescents who are dealing with emotional roller coasters as hormones begin to kick in.

As well, kids of all ages can experience events or traumas that can affect their ability to regulate their emotions.

Finally, emotion coaching is as much for the parents as it is for the children. If you’re frustrated by your lack of understanding of your child’s emotions or you simply want to successfully guide your child through their emotional development, emotion coaching can be very beneficial. 

If you want to learn more about emotion coaching and how you may benefit, please contact one of our three offices in Charlotte, Huntersville, or Davidson, North Carolina. 

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